[Malaysia] Kuala Lumpur – The first look

At Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, you can buy many pretty handmade souvenirs here.

This is the first time I’ve been to Kuala Lumpur as well as Malaysia, but right at the first sight that I  fall in love with the varied cultures of this huge and beautiful country.

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[1] – Nightlife on Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang

 

It was about 7 o’clock in the evening when I arrived Kuala Lumpur (often abbreviated as KL). And the first impressive thing was the huge airport of LCCT, which is located between many hills. I had to walk for a long distance to get to the gate of the terminal. LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) is kinda far from the city, about one-hour on bus. And the cheapest way to get into the city is by bus, and it takes time lining-up. But if you arrive at KLIA 2, you can take the KL express train to reach the city center.

At LCCT - our first step in KL

At LCCT – our first step in KL

I booked the hotels of Jalan Alor Budget Inn for our trip (I was with my family this time). The rate is a little more expensive than other countries in the area, but I see it’s the cheapest around here. A few days before my trip, I wrote e-mail to the hotel reservation to ask about the rooms, and their staffs were very friendly and hospitable with their support. And the staffs were really nice when I stayed here, they gave us many supports with the services, and they even had free mineral water at the lobby. The only problem was that there was only one electric plug in the room, and I often stayed at the lobby to charge my digital devices.

The hotel is located at a perfect position – right on Jalan Alor at Bukit Bintang (“jalan” means “street”, and “bukit” means “hill” in Malaysian). Jalan Alor is a funny and crazy crowded street at night; there are many restaurants, local food stalls, and souvenir or convenient shops here. And at night, the street is very beautiful with the lanterns hung above.

Nightlife on Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang

Nightlife on Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang

Fruit jelly on Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang

Fruit jelly on Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang

Satay at an street food stall on Jalan Alor

Satay at an street food stall on Jalan Alor

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[2] – HOHO Bus, Merdeka Square and The protest

 

On the next day, I traveled around KL by HOHO bus (Hop-on Hop-off bus). In my opinion, it was very boring with its expensive cost (about 45 MYR ~ 15 USD/person). A round-trip was about 2,5 hours through many sightseeing places in KL, but in fact, you can easily get there by KL city buses (they even have free bus in KL) or trains, which is much cheaper and funnier. However, on HOHO Bus you can sit on the top of the bus and have a look through this huge city. And when I was on the HOHO bus, many local people on the street saw us – as the tourists – and they waved their hands and smiled at us. I just thought, “Wow, How friendly Malaysian are!”

On Hoho bus -  It was very hot with the sun. I got headache for sitting too long under the sun.

On Hoho bus – It was very hot with the sun. I got headache for sitting too long under the sun.

On Hoho bus - at Little Indian

On Hoho bus – at Little Indian

When I arrived at the Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka), there was a protest rising up here. Many people wore in red (for God’s sake, I wore green and yellow that day), and the square was packed with thousands of people and polices. I didn’t know what they were protesting for, so I stayed inside the KL City Gallery and look outside, afraid of not knowing what was happening and if there would be violence. But no – there was no violence on that day, and thanks to the short but heavy rain, the crowd dissolved and the square became peaceful again (Now I know that they in Malaysia are protesting for the tax policy)

Merdeka Square a few minutes before the protest

Merdeka Square a few minutes before the protest

The protest is taken place here with many people wear in red

The protest is taken place here with many people wear in red, and we cannot reach public transportation here.

Street foods at Merdeka Square, where the protest was taken place at that moment

Street foods at Merdeka Square, where the protest was taken place at that moment

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[3] – A long walk and Malaysian cuisine

 

Due to the protest, the HOHO Bus could not enter the square to pick us up back to Bukit Bintang; but instead of choosing other public transportation, I and my friend decided to have a long walk. We walked from the Merdeka Square, and then along the river which I didn’t know its name, passed through many beautiful shopping malls, and then we arrived at the foot of the hill on which the KL Tower is located (Yeah! 😀 ). After that, we walked to the KL Petronas Twin Tower.

KL Tower - a strange look from here

KL Tower – a strange look from here

Before taking photos with this popular building, we entered the Suria KLCC Mall and had dinner with Malaysian traditional sweets – “kuih” – and an iced dessert with longan and soursop – they were very beautiful and very delicious, too.

Malaysia is a multi-cultural country, with it own original Malays, then substantial influences of Chinese and Indian, even of the Westerns like British. Therefore, this multi-culture affects their arts, their lifestyles, and especially – their foods. My most favorite dishes here are nasi-lemak, lam mee, roti and naan, and their kuih (yeah! ^o^)

"kuih" - traditional Malaysian cakes

“kuih” – traditional Malaysian cakes

Chicken Tandoori & Roti Canai - the perfect couple of Malaysian culinary ♥

Chicken Tandoori & Roti Canai – the perfect couple of Malaysian culinary ♥

Petronas Twin Tower, Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Twin Tower, Kuala Lumpur

We moved to the ground before the Petronas Twin Tower. There were not many people here, almost are tourists taking picture with the buildings. And it was on the International Labor Day, so there were fireworks on the sky – yeah! – lucky us!

Finally for that day, we walked from the Twin Tower to Bukit Bintang. Yay, we walked a distance of 10km that day, so tired, but the feeling was good. I had the chance to enjoy KL in a way that maybe very little people had enjoyed before 😀

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[4] – The crows

 

And one of the things I noticed about KL is that its national flower is red hibiscus – so simple, but so beautiful. They are planted everywhere in KL, and appear on many souvenirs, and eventually, the street lights are designed with the pattern of res hibiscus. I love these flowers because they remind me of my childhood. And there are also many crows in the city: they’re on the trees, on the buildings, on the squares, and on the streets. Hey, why are you all here and noisy so much? Haha.

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There are many crows on the streets and in the city.

There are many crows on the streets and in the city.

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[5] – A friendly local friend

 

On the next day, I met Khairul – a couchsurfer – a friend. I knew Khai through this blog (He’s the owner of his blog of The Best Things in Life – yay, adore him! ^^). Khai is very funny and hospitable. He took us for dinner at Little Indian, taught us how to use our right hand to have meals like a real Malaysian and told us many stories about KL.

Yeah - thanks to Khairul, now we know how to use the right hand for Indian foods :)

Yeah – thanks to Khairul, now we know how to use the right hand for Indian foods 🙂

But the thing made me like him a lot was that he took time to have a walk with us from Little Indian to The Old Railway Station. The station was absolutely wonderful at night. And nowadays, even it’s not the main station anymore, but it’s still the station of KL komuter (Its name is Kuala Lumpur Station if you go by the monorail). So, we took the KL komuter back to KL Sentral station and then took the monorail back to Bukit Bintang. Thank you so much, Khairul – you are very kind (and handsome, too – hehe)

Old Railway Station with Khairul - he's my first Muslim friend :D

Old Railway Station with Khairul – he’s my first Muslim friend 😀

***

Our trips only lasts 03 days and 03 nights, not so much. And for me, of course, it’s not enough to know all about KL as well as Malaysia, but it’s enough to let me know that: I love this city – its friendly people, its spicy traditional foods, it crazy street, and it modern buildings but traditional lifestyle.

Good bye, KL. See you one day! (And that day will come soon, I believe! ^_^)

And thank you for reading my blog. All best regards.

at Bukit Bintang in the morning

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